The Best Way to Go Christmas Shopping in Bellevue (including for Black Friday)

Bellevue Square
Kristin Kendle

There are all kinds of stores, malls and shopping centers throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area, but for the ultimate shopping experience, look to Bellevue. Only in Bellevue can you stay and shop all in the downtown core and never have need to step outside, if you don’t want to. Bellevue almost feels designed from the ground up to shop.

Bellevue’s downtown shopping scene is anchored by the Bellevue Collection, a collection of shopping centers that includes Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place. Of the three, Bellevue Square is the biggest and has the most stores, ranging from the Pottery Barn to a massive Apple Store to local shops like chocolate shop Jcoco. While you won’t find run-of-the-mill mall stores like JCPenney or Sears, you will find higher end stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. Bellevue Square is one of the area’s largest malls, but combined with the stores in Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place, as well as even more stores lining the streets just outside of the Bellevue Collection, the sheer number and range of stores is formidable.

What really makes the Bellevue Collection unique, however, is that there’s a hotel right within the property—the Hyatt Regency at Bellevue Place. With such close proximity, the hotel offers not only a great getaway, but a superb shopping weekend experience during which you won’t need to leave the grounds of the Bellevue Collection to enjoy an upscale hotel, a full range of restaurants, and stores galore. Hyatt Regency, Bellevue Place, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square are all connected via skybridges. If the weather is rainy (which is pretty likely in late November and December), this is one of the few places where you can have an expansive Black Friday or Christmas shopping session without ever having to go out into the elements.

Add a night or two stay into the mix and a shopping trip turns into a great local getaway or an activity to enjoy if you’re visiting from out of town, or simply make a day trip from Seattle or Tacoma out of it.

The Hotel

Hyatt Regency is located at 900 Bellevue Way NE and serves as the perfect shopping weekend base. From the moment you step into the Hyatt Regency, you’ll feel worlds away from the busy city outside. The expansive lobby greets you with sweeping staircases and infused water. Rooms range from standard to suites with city views, and some may include a view of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline in the distance. Amenities include a gym and a heated 25-meter lap pool, but the real perks come in the form of stores and restaurants.

From the Hyatt Regency, it takes about 15 minutes to walk through the skybridges to Lincoln Square and then to Bellevue Square. Alternately, you can step outside and cross the street to get to Bellevue Square a little quicker.

Where to Eat

The Bellevue Collection has more than 45 restaurants, but you don’t really need to leave the Hyatt Regency to find great food. For breakfast or brunch, Eques just above the hotel lobby offers Northwest-inspired fare. The menu includes fresh and delicious twists on many breakfast favorites and non-traditional choices alike, but many opt for the buffet. The buffet has a bit of everything, including smoked salmon, local cheeses and yogurts, fresh fruit and berries, as well as hot dishes, oatmeal with all the fixings, and breakfast breads.

For lunch or dinner, choices include 13 Coins and Daniel’s Broiler. At 13 Coins, you’ll find an expansive menu 24 hours a day that’s based on the classic original location’s in SeaTac, while Daniel’s Broiler is a steak restaurant with views sure to inspire. The hotel also has places to get cocktails (Joey Bellevue and Suite), places to grab a quick bite (Zen Express and Needs Deli), and a Fonte Coffee Roaster. Of course, you can also stay in and order room service.

Cross the first skybridge into Lincoln Square and you’ll find Din Tai Fung, a very popular and delicious Asian restaurant with dumplings, soup, noodles, rice dishes and more…but, seriously, the draw is the dumplings. Get the dumplings! And be prepared to wait as everyone else wants to get the dumplings as well.

Holiday Packages and Activities

A perk of having a hotel right within the same campus as shopping galore is that package deals are bound to add some cheer to your holidays. As they should! Book a Shop and Stay package and you’ll get a gift card good toward any of the stores in the Bellevue Collection included with your stay.

The Bellevue Collection also kicks off Snowflake Lane each season, which is one of the coolest holiday events in the area and adds a whole different level of festive to your shopping experience. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, Snowflake Lane takes place every night at 7 p.m. outside of the shopping center and include music, light projections, falling snow and a parade.

The wider Bellevue area also has plenty of holiday cheer to go around too. The Bellevue Botanical Gardens are home to Garden d’Lights, a Christmas lights display. There’s an ice skating rink set up at Bellevue Downtown Ashwood Park.

All in all, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better holiday shopping destination.

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